Are pageviews really obsolete?
EvHead says so and explains why:
Remember when web site traffic was talked about in terms of “hits”? You’d read about how many millions of hits Netscape got per month and other sites bragged about getting 30,000 hits a day. Eventually, we moved away from the term hit because everyone realized it was pretty meaningless. You see, a hit was often counted (depending on who was counting them) not just for a page load, but for every element (e.g., graphic) included on the page, as well. One visit of this page, for example, would be worth about 40 hits (if the browser had images turned on). But a site that was less graphical and had equal usage would register half the hits.
Pageviews replaced hits as the primary traffic metric not just because they’re more meaningful, but because it also determined how many ads could be served. Ads were sold primarily on a CPM basis, so multiply your CPM by every 1,000 pageviews you got, and that’s your dot-com revenue.
There are only two reasons why pageviews are still regarded as a useful indicator — (1) they somewhat represent the number of ad impressions for advertisers and (2) they also indicate the stickiness of the website by the number of pageviews per unique visitor. Forums used to have the egde when we talk about pageviews, now Web 2.0 sites are also changing how we view sites.
Today, we always refer to uniques as the ultimate indicator of popularity and reach. At least, that’s how I look at it.